A Five-Step Plan for Reducing Your Backlog

Overdue maintenance backlogs are one of the most serious problems we face at MaintenX. Oftentimes, business owners and property managers don’t know what needs to be done or don’t see maintenance requests as a top priority until they become emergent. This results in a backlog that is difficult to pare down, and frequent emergency repairs due to a lack of preventative care on significant appliances.

There is no better example of this than our National Parks System. In 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act was passed, allocating $6.5 billion solely to addressing the maintenance backlog across 400 national parks. While this provided much-needed help to national parks across the country, it only covered half of the estimated costs of needed maintenance in the parks, and provided no funding to smaller state parks also in need of maintenance funds.

This excessive maintenance backlog leads to safety hazards for both park staff and visitors and makes it difficult for these public parks to continue providing educational and recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy the great outdoors. The same can happen to businesses that ignore their maintenance backlog, as their equipment becomes unusable for staff and reduces the ability for the business to provide great service.

At MaintenX, we understand the demands of running your business and how difficult maintenance planning can be. With these five steps, we can help you effectively reduce your backlog and get on a maintenance schedule that is effective, affordable, and meets your facility’s changing demands.

The Five-Step Plan to Reduce Your Maintenance Backlog

  • Sort current backlog to eliminate outdated and duplicate orders – If your maintenance backlog hasn’t been addressed in months, there are likely work orders that have either been addressed without proper documentation, or duplicate orders due to recurring issues. Before you can begin addressing your backlog, take some time to clean up and organize it.  
  • Prioritize current backlog – Once your work order backlog is organized, prioritize requests based on urgency and impact on your facility operations. This will make it easier to allocate resources based on needs and budget.
  • Assess risks and resources – Once you are ready to assign tasks to your maintenance team, be sure to incorporate a risk assessment to ensure your most experienced technicians take on the most complex work. Safety hazards, as well as financial risks and potential for emergency repairs, should be considered, as well as the available hours your maintenance team has to work on particular tasks.
  • Re-evaluate your work-order system – Once your team begins working on the backlog, you should take time to restructure your work-order management system to ensure that a new backlog doesn’t accumulate.
  • Put a PM plan into action – Finally, once you have your backlog reduced and your work order system in place, begin adding new maintenance requests focused on preventative care. This will prevent future emergency services and ensure your backlog is a productive tool rather than a burden on your facility.

MaintenX can help you reduce your backlog and stay on top of maintenance with our preventative care programs suited to your facility. If you’d like to learn more about our preventative maintenance can help your facility run more smoothly, contact our offices today!

Calming Colors for Your Office Space

Ready to give your office a fresh face? Perhaps you’re looking for ways to increase productivity or to renovate your building for a completely new tenant. If you’re ready to renovate your office space for a completely modern look, the first choice you should make is whether or not to repaint your walls.

In many ways, your choice of paint can influence the way your office space is perceived. It can even have tangible effects on productivity and shopping behavior. Color choice can be critical in places like medical facilities, where the guests are often in an emotional state and can be triggered further by surroundings. High-stress environments can be countered by calming colors to make your building a more inviting space for everyone involved.

Below are the most popular calming office colors for 2022 that you can use in your next renovation:

Sky blue

Blue is the most common office color because it is scientifically proven to calm the senses. Blue is a naturally familiar color and is found in logos for finance and tech industries because of its formal appearance. A sky blue, however, is cheerful and calming, which can elevate the mood of your staff and customers.

Mint green

Green is another naturally calming color, as it reminds us of forest scenery and is found in most of our surroundings. Light green with a blue undertone can be uplifting and soothe the senses. It is also associated with cleanliness, making mint green a perfect option for medical facilities or other places where sanitization is considered essential.

Sage gray

Gray is a common color in office spaces, but can be seen as cold and harsh if it is too dark or has a blue undertone. A sage gray, on the other hand, has a green undertone and is softer than slate grays. This color works well as an accent with other warm-toned greens and blues.

Lilac/mauve

Purple can also be a calming color, but a purple that is too saturated can be overwhelming in the office space. Lilac (cool-toned) or mauve (warm-toned) is more suitable for office spaces, especially for businesses geared toward women such as beauty salons or OB/GYN offices.

These colors can uplift your office space without making it overwhelming on a daily basis to staff and patrons. With the right combination, you can boost productivity and create a space that is homey and welcoming to all.

MaintenX offers commercial painting services in 13 states across the U.S. To find a professional painter in your area, contact MaintenX today!

Tips for Painting Brick

Exposed brick has become increasingly popular in restaurants, retail stores, and other boutique storefronts across the U.S. The rustic style can create the perfect ambiance for small businesses, but only if it is done properly. If the exposed brick is not properly cleaned and painted, it will simply look old and neglected rather than rustic and charming.

Painting brick can be a difficult task as it is porous and uneven. A simple paint roller won’t get into every crevice. While you can carefully go over every spot with a small paintbrush, there are easier ways to paint your brick that will save time and money.

If you want your brick to look professionally painted, follow these steps for success:

Clean and prime before painting. 

Exposed brick is the perfect place for dust to collect inside a commercial building. Prior to painting, be sure to scrub the brick with a gentle cleanser and wait to dry fully before priming. You may also want to strip old paint off the brick if there is any on it. Then, apply a latex primer to the entirety of the brick wall and let dry completely.

Choose the right paint. 

Latex paint or paint made for masonry is best for brick, as it will soak into the crevices more easily. Talk to the sales staff at your local home improvement store to ensure you have the right paint for this application. You can also use a brick stain if your brick is in good condition but you want to add a protective barrier or change the color slightly without covering the brick completely.

Use a paint sprayer.

The best method for painting brick is to use a paint sprayer, as this will coat the surface evenly and get into cracks and crevices without hassle. If possible, purchase a paint sprayer at your local home improvement store. If you can’t find a sprayer, be sure to use a roller made for textured surfaces to minimize the touchups needed.

MaintenX offers professional painting services for businesses across the U.S. If you want to revamp your storefront and improve the look of your brick, contact us for a hassle-free painting service!

How Prepared Does Your Business Need To Be For Storms?

In Tampa, Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, we are accustomed to the annual hurricane season that threatens our coastlines from June until November. While most businesses believe they are prepared for evacuation, they often miss critical steps that lead to damages that could have been prevented. Whether you live in a hurricane, snowstorm, fire, or earthquake-prone area, there are certain steps every business should take to prepare for disaster.

Five Steps to Disaster Preparedness

  • Update your evacuation protocol – If a storm becomes serious, you should have a plan in place to communicate closures to employees ahead of time. You should also provide the appropriate resources for evacuation including travel expenses or hazard pay and accommodations for employees that must stay (in places like medical facilities).
  • Stock up on essentials – If your facility must remain open during the storm or immediately after, make sure you are stocked with food, a backup generator, batteries, and other essential goods for those that will be present during or immediately after the storm. These items can also be used by the community after the storm has passed and people are in need of essential items.
  • Remove hazards from your outdoor facilities – Any merchandise or asset that is stored outdoors but not firmly secured to the ground should be moved away from the facility to prevent damage due to wind or flooding. This can include outdoor displays, trash cans, signs, vehicles, or other items that could be easily moved by wind or water.
  • Prepare your building as a shelter – If your building is a suitable storm shelter, make sure you have supplies on hand for rapid preparation. Boards to close up windows, emergency food stores, and sleeping cots should be available on short notice if your building is a designated storm shelter.
  • Renovate if necessary – Modern buildings are designed to withstand severe weather, but older buildings are not always up to modern codes. Storm-proof windows, roofing, and outdoor HVAC units are a must to ensure your building is still in working order during and after the storm.

MaintenX specializes in disaster preparedness and emergency maintenance service after storms. If your commercial building is at risk this season for storm damage, talk to us about more ways to prepare specific to your facility.

Using Drone Photography for Your Business

At MaintenX, we specialize in all things roofing. In recent years, this has expanded to aerial photography and drone photography for our commercial clients. We began using this as a means for inspecting roofing and providing in-depth technical diagnoses for large-scale buildings. However, our services have expanded to include drone and aerial photography for all kinds of commercial purposes.

Drone photography may seem like a luxury to most small businesses, but there are many applications in which it can be useful to your business or commercial real estate investment. Below are just a few of the ways our clients utilize drone photography to help their businesses prosper:

Real Estate Listings

If you’re preparing to sell a commercial property, aerial photography is a must. While a traditional photographer can help you capture interior details, an aerial photography service allows you to provide a complete picture of the property. Showcase the breathtaking views of your property or the expansiveness of the lot for sale by capturing more than what a camera on the ground can capture.

Inspections

Inspections were among the first services we provided for clients to help them catch roofing and other maintenance issues that they don’t typically inspect. Drone footage makes the facility inspection process much faster and keeps maintenance techs safely on the ground until an issue is detected.

Data Collection and Orthomosaics

Drone footage can be used for collecting data or surveying land for development, industrial, or tech applications. We use drone footage for orthomosaics (similar to Google Earth imaging) as well as land surveying or data collection from industrial sites. This can help you improve efficiency and more accurately plan for new construction on undeveloped land.

Construction Site Monitoring

Managing a large construction site can be incredibly difficult, especially if multiple buildings are in the plans. Aerial photography allows you to monitor progress and provide visual representations of progress to investors and stakeholders.

If you are interested in what MaintenX has to offer, contact your local team to learn about drone photography services in your area!

Five Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater

MaintenX specializes in tankless water heater installations and maintenance. These eco-friendly water heaters provide numerous benefits to businesses, saving you space, money, and hassle with traditional water heater maintenance. If you are looking to upgrade your water heater, consider a tankless option for these five reasons:

Water conservation

A traditional water heater requires time to heat up the water flowing through your pipes. While you’re waiting for that hot water, you’re likely letting the cold water go down the drain, wasting valuable resources for your business. A tankless water heater will heat immediately, saving you both energy and your hard-earned cash.

Reduced contaminants in water

As traditional water heaters age, they begin to rust at the bottom. This rust can make its way into your water, which not only contaminates the water but decreases the tanks’ performance ability.

Reduced maintenance needs

Traditional water heaters are known to cause leaks and flooding which can spell disaster for your small business. If you experience a leak in your water heater, the flooring could be irreparably damaged and you may even have to shut down while repairs are being made. Tankless water heaters eliminate this risk and reduce overall maintenance requirements for your plumbing system.

Increase your storage space

Tankless water heaters take up approximately ⅕ of the space that a traditional water heater requires. This can free up floor space within your building to be used for storage or to be removed completely to add more room to your office.

Earn rebates for eco-friendly upgrades

Tankless water heaters are considered eco-friendly because they reduce water waste and energy consumption. Because they conserve so many resources, the federal government and some state governments provide rebates and other incentives to install a tankless water heaters for both residential and commercial buildings. Ask your MaintenX technician about rebates and other financial incentives you can earn when you upgrade your water heater.

If you’d like to find a tankless water heater that meets your business needs, contact MaintenX today for more details!

ADA Compliance for your Plumbing and Restrooms

ADA compliance is not only required for most business types, but ensures you create a welcoming space for everyone who walks through your doors. ADA compliance covers not only entrances and exits, but a great deal of your bathroom design and the subsequent plumbing installations required to fulfill them.

Below are the general guidelines you must follow for ADA compliant bathrooms, as well as the considerations you’ll need to make for your plumbing installation and maintenance:

Bathroom dimensions for ADA compliance

Bathrooms must be large enough for a wheelchair to complete a 180 degree turn easily within the accessible stall and the common space. This is generally considered 60+ inches.

ADA compliant toilets

An accessible toilet stall must meet a certain height and stall capacity size to ensure a wheelchair can fit and that the toilet is easily used. ADA compliance requires:

  • Each appliance must have a minimum width of 60 inches and enough space around to accommodate a wheelchair.
  • Seat height must be between 17 and 19 inches above the floor.
  • Flush controls must be placed no higher than 44 inches above the ground and placed on the open side of the toilet
  • Grab bars must be placed behind the toilet and on the nearest wall or partition
  • Toilet paper dispensers must be between seven and nine inches in front of the water closet.
  • Dispensers should allow for continuous paper flow rather than control flow.

ADA compliant sinks and mirrors

In addition to stall requirements, The ADA requires certain sink, soap dispenser, and mirror heights and design elements to ensure accessibility:

  • Sink or counter height must not exceed 34 inches above the floor.
  • If hand soap and/or towel dispensers are available, they must be between 15 and 48 inches above the ground and not be obstructed by other design elements.
  • Hand dryers must either be motion-activated or touch-free devices and not protrude more than four inches from where they are installed.
  • Mirrors should be installed 40 inches maximum above the ground if located near a sink or countertop; stand-alone mirrors should be installed 35 inches maximum above the floor.

ADA compliant drinking fountains 

While drinking fountains are not required for most businesses, they can be integral to public buildings, schools, playgrounds, and recreational facilities. If your facility has drinking fountains, they must be between 38 and 43 inches above the ground, and provide a stream of water that is between four and five inches from the spout. This is to ensure that a cup can be used under the stream.

To meet these standards, you must ensure that your plumbing system is set up to meet height and space requirements and provide the correct water pressure for water fountains. If you are upgrading your facility to meet ADA compliance, talk to your MaintenX team to learn more!

The Best Backup Generator Brands for your Business

Choosing a backup generator for your business is an important part of designing your electrical system as a whole. The right backup generator or UPS system can help your business weather a storm, citywide power outage, or another natural disaster. If your company provides essential services such as food access, shelter, or medical care, you need to invest in a generator that can power you day or night.

MaintenX installs and provides preventative care for a variety of generator brands, but we recommend the best based on our clients’ individual needs and budgets. Below are some of the most common brands we recommend to clients for both small business and industrial needs:

Generac

Generac is the most popular generator brand for commercial applications. They offer a wide range of sizes, fuel options, and energy-efficient models to suit the need of every business and industrial site. Generac is the only brand on this list whose only focus is generators, so there’s no surprise that they provide some of the highest quality products on the market today.

Cummins

Cummins generators are focused on innovation to meet the ever-increasing demands of the commercial world. With most urban areas running 24/7, Cummins generators are made to power your business no matter what. Their signature Centrum series is also focused on energy efficiency and sustainability for the next generation of environmentally conscious generator brands.

Briggs and Straton

Briggs and Straton builds high-quality commercial generators for small businesses and office buildings. While not as large or powerful as some commercial generator brands, Briggs and Straton are ideal for the small business that wants to prepare for power outages on a reasonable budget.

Kubota

Kubota generators are top-notch backup and portable diesel generators that can be used for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications. The diesel engine provides plenty of power and is guaranteed to last you for years with minimal one-side maintenance required. If you’re looking for a reliable and compact generator for your small business, Kubota is the brand for you.

To learn more about backup generator brands and proper maintenance, contact your local MaintenX team today!

Stucco vs. Vinyl Siding – Which is Best for Your Business?

Small businesses typically have two types of siding for their building – stucco and vinyl. Stucco is an aggregate substance applied smoothly to exterior walls to create a visually appealing and durable exterior, while vinyl is installed in boards to achieve the same purpose. While vinyl siding is more common in residential building because of its affordability, there are some commercial applications in which vinyl is preferable.

Below we’ll discuss the various factors to consider when choosing vinyl vs. stucco for your commercial building. If you have further questions, ask your MaintenX contractor to determine which is best for your particular project:

Durability

Both vinyl and stucco siding is considered highly durable for exterior applications. Stucco is considered somewhat more impact-resistant; however, insulated vinyl is just as strong against weather and wind as most stucco applications.

Longevity

While both materials are durable, stucco is considered to have a much longer service life. Because it is directly applied, it can withstand for decades with minimal maintenance required. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, does best when replaced after 40 to 60 years as it will fade and deteriorate slowly.

Appearance

Most commercial buildings use stucco because of its clean, smooth appearance Vinyl siding is more common for residential use, and can therefore make your commercial building look more like a home if used. While this may be suitable for small commercial buildings or those that have been renovated from residential buildings, it can be a downside if you’re going for a certain look.

Cost

Stucco is significantly more expensive than vinyl, not only in material cost but in the extra hours it takes to install. While the upfront costs are significantly more with a stucco installation, it’s also important to factor in your ROI for stucco vs. vinyl. Stucco will last longer, which means your dollar will stretch further if you’re planning to own the property for many years. Stucco can also add to resale value for commercial properties as opposed to other siding options.

MaintenX offers stucco installation and exterior maintenance services to ensure your building looks and functions exceptionally regardless of weather or time. To learn more about your installation options, contact your local MaintenX team today!

How to Design a Better Dining Space for your Restaurant

Designing a restaurant from space is a truly exciting endeavor. If you’re a small business owner, you have the opportunity to create a space that reflects your personal taste and the ambiance you want to create for your customers. In some ways, it is an extension of your life and personality, which is why it’s crucial to get the design right from the beginning.

Your dining area is arguably the most important space to design, as it creates the customer experience. Your dining space design should:

  • Facilitate your workflow
  • Create an inviting atmosphere that reflects your marketing plan
  • Be spacious enough to allow for easy foot traffic while maximizing space to fill capacity

If you want to create the best atmosphere for both customers and staff, follow these four tips for designing your dining area:

Choose décor wisely.

People will choose your restaurant over others in the area not only because of the food you serve but because of the atmosphere you create that they can identify with. A speakeasy has a very different customer base than a sports bar and grill, and the décor you choose will play a big part in who feels “at home” in your space versus who feels out of place.

Avoid bad seating areas. 

Space near the doors, kitchen and bathrooms are typically considered bad seats in a restaurant because they are noisier and have temperature fluctuations that other seating areas do not. You can utilize this space for other things instead of seating, such as a waiting area or server stations to ensure everyone in the house has a great place to dine.

Balance comfort with capacity. 

While it may be tempting to fit as much seating into your restaurant as possible, this creates an uncomfortable experience for your patrons. Instead of trying to accommodate everyone, make an effort to create a comfortable experience for the customers you have by spacing out tables far enough that you can’t hear the conversation from one to the next.

Invest in outdoor space

Almost every restaurant can benefit from having outdoor seating, whether that is for dining, the bar, or simply outdoor waiting areas when you’re over capacity. Outdoor seating provides a beautiful ambiance on a nice day, and opens opportunities for you to add live music or private events within your space.

MaintenX can help you configure your dining space with renovations and preventative care services to ensure your business is always running smoothly. For more tips and information on restaurant design and maintenance, visit our Resource Center.